LDS, and The Executive
Americans are, in many ways - religiously complacent. We are also essentially apolitical, and are almost always caught up on the bleeding edge of some social, political, or technological experiment. Clearly, in the past few years - social websites have exacted a toll on our society. They have, especially amongst the teenagers - promoted an Aspie-like inability to connect by almost negating the need for contact and real , emotional interaction. This type of soulless existence is exemplified by the rise of such trends as cyber bullying and online games. But it points to a deeper trend of the loss of even consideration of that spark of the divine within.
The past does not point to a more religious America. Far from it. We have always been , in one way or another - more than willing to walk away from religion when it interferes with our ability to get the job done. In a realistic sense, the town priest - in the 1700's, was often the one person in the village who either gave himself over to literacy and the practice of secular law, or he was simply unfit to raise a farm and produce sons. For in that time, how many sons you had determined in part how successful a farmer you would become. This was a time when women commonly died of childbirth, illiteracy was the order of the day - and disputes in common law were settled by common sense. If someone wronged you, and it was clearly a serious and harmful wrong. You killed him. Men and women did not clamor over the Kansas prairie, to make their way into tiny one room churches in the middle of winter. But by that same token we were not without soul.
We did not consider that spark of the divine , in a more religious light. Rather, we were simply more honest about it. And that light shone through - in people that had it. America was founded by the heroic and the pioneer. Those who had that spark - shared it. It was and is impossible to attain through point and click.
Having no hospitals, we would commonly take in whomever would fall ill by the road. Such charity helped knit together those that travelled far.
It is precisely this element of our national character that the Church of Latter Day Saints strongly attempts to circumscribe. LDS attempts to export a pioneering sense of caring for others, a painful form of honesty - and to all accounts the life that would have been dedicated to a similiar journey as their ancestors made. A road that is narrow, dangerous - and lined with the lights of friendly homes.
Also. They're all slightly nuts. Trust me, it helps.